Phedra RoadMature

The doors all opened without the magic pass-card on my way out of the museum, though the other doors on the corridor didn't.  I hadn't expected that they would, but it pays to check in this business.  You never know when you're going to need a bolt-hole.  Or somewhere to hide the body for twenty minutes.  Marv was still at the turnstiles, and he waved goodbye to me as I edged my way past the poisoned spikes.  I doubted I was forgiven, but I wasn't causing any trouble and that was enough for Marv to leave me alone.

When I stepped out of the museum I heard police sirens and saw the flashing lights racing down the road past me in the direction that the bus had taken earlier.  I decided that discretion was the better part of freedom and took a walk around the museum instead of checking out the incident.  The ambulance-chaser in me balked but I over-rode it.  Sure, I'd picked up some interesting cases from following the municipal sounds of disaster, and sometimes I'd picked up jewellery, spare fingers, and a decent second-hand copy of Gray's Anatomy, but this time I was likely to get picked up myself.  It was safer to go and check out this park I'd seen for the first time out of Dr. Siff's windows.

There was no park on any side of the museum.  I found the trash cans, with a surprisingly large number of weathered, yellowed bones in them, the museum's trash compactor (which was both unattended and unlocked; I made a mental note), a car park with space for three hundred cars and a short-cut from the museum to St. Teuthis's hospital that looked well-used.  But the park I'd seen from Dr. Siff's window was nowhere to be seen.  That piqued my curiosity.

But I needed to get to Phedra Road and find the Church of the Derived Mind and see if they'd done a baptism, and then if they had, find myself a Witness (with added emphasis).  That was more important at the moment than an oddity at the De Havilleau museum.  I rearranged the stiletto in my pocket to be slightly less obscene to the casual observer, and tramped off on foot, knowing that my chances of a bus or a taxi would be severely crimped for the next few days.

They say that Luck is a Lady, but if she is she's the hoighty-toighty kind that wouldn't spare the saliva to spit on me if I were on fire.  Her emerald green eyes would undoubtedly just blaze with righteous passion as she instructed her servants to have me taken out and hosed down with quicklime, and the cruel set of her mouth would tell me that I should be appreciating her generosity.  I have dreams about her sometimes, and I always end up waking up in a cold sweat clutching something from the kitchen.  Often it's the lemon zester.  But this evening she spared me a smile from her carmine lips and I'd barely gone a mile before I saw a paper-boy leaning his bike up against a fence while he went up a path to deliver the Times.  I hobbled over, my breath coming in wet gasps, and mounted the bike.  The kid, a skinny ten year old with what looked like a tumour on the side of his face, saw me and shouted but I pulled out the stiletto and waved it at him in a generally threatening manner, and started cycling away.  He took a few steps towards me then burst into tears and sat down in the driveway.  I recognised him at that point: it was the kid who delivered my papers in the morning.

I promised myself I'd return whatever was left of his bike to him when he came round tomorrow, and grunted and gasped my way over to Phedra road.

The End

6 comments about this story Feed